*Kaduna govt reunites returnees with families
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
The Kaduna State Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, has said the association paid ransom to secure the release of members of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji, Kaduna State, from their abductors.
Nine other captives were released together with the worshippers on Friday evening.
The victims, who were abducted during Sunday service on October 31, 2021, were 66 in number, but three were killed by their captors.
Hayab said: “We thank the traditional rulers and stakeholders in ensuring the release of the victims,” he said, adding that ransom was paid before the abductees could be released.
“We are calling on Christians and Nigerians to be prayerful against the insecurity that has brought untold hardships to the people,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, the worshippers and nine other victims have been reunited with their families.
Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, who presided over the reunion at the Albarka Baptist Church, Gwari Avenue, Barnawa, Kaduna, said the state was informed of the victims’ release by the military.
Aruwan said the military had carried out an extensive medical evaluation of the freed worshippers who spent over 35 days as well as other victims kidnapped along Kaduna – Kachia road, in the bandits’ den.
He was, however, silent on whether the victims’ families paid the N99million ransom demanded by the bandits.
“The military authority reached out to the Kaduna State Government that they had in their procession over 60 victims of kidnapping and that they want to hand over the victims to us. And we took possession of the citizens and we handed them over to the leadership of the Kaduna Baptist Conference and their relations. There are other citizens whose relations are equally here and we did the same thing.
“The military make sure they carried out an extensive medical evaluation of the kidnapped victims. And on the side of the government, if there is the need to do post-trauma evaluation with rehabilitation, we are ready. We will do that”, the commissioner stated.
Vanguard News Nigeria